Atelier Oh Nee, Glory Collision; Billytown Kitchen, The Hague

Artists’ initiative from Leiden Atelier Oh Nee (Studio Oh No) presents Glory Collision in Billytown’s Kitchen.

The idea is to present art by different artists in a collective installation inspired by a kickboxing school.

This results in works hanging from the ceiling like punching bags.

Those who expect the smell of adrenaline and sweat or the sounds of banging and aggressive physicality will find a colourful playfulness without sound or smell instead.

 

It is this playfulness that tries to lure the viewer into looking at the objects from different angles and to be in very close contact with them.

The floor, though based on kickboxing practice, provides a welcoming softness and warmth that absorbs the sounds of the visitor’s footsteps and movements.

In spite of the collective’s somewhat negative sounding name, its presentation is quite catching and engaging.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Billytown, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Anders Dickson, Maja Klaassens, Clémence de La Tour du Pin, Kim David Bots – Hinkypunk; Billytown, The Hague

A place like The Hague was partly built on sandy dunes, but a lot of its suburbs were once marshes.

Indeed a great part of the two Holland provinces and many other areas were once marshland.

Marshes and peaty wetlands have become rare in Europe.

Their misty mysticism with strange sounds and misleading witte wieven, banshees, dangerous, dark waters, deceptive will-o’-the-wisps or hinkypunks was once respected, but later on these areas were exploited and drained, efficiently made useful for our insatiable needs.

At Billytown Anders Dickson (1988), Maja Klaassens (1989), Clémence de La Tour du Pin (1986) and Kim David Bots (1988) co-operated to give an impression of this lost marshy mysticism, but without getting one’s feet wet.

For once Billytown has been obscured a bit from the outer world by some worn textile and indeed from itself by a wooden fence that seems to have stood there already for ages.

Strange sounds and scents that both attract and repel will invite you to discover all kinds of strange objects, installations, pictures and creatures.

Modern marshes are also disrespectfully used as dumping places for all kinds of garbage, but, in spite of what you might think of it, the creatures and things of the peat seem to feast on it, celebrating their own downfall.

What else can one do?

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Billytown, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Adriaan Rees, The White Album; Livingstone Gallery, The Hague

Adriaan Rees (1957) works both in the Netherlands and in China.

That has a clear impact on his work as can be seen in his impressive porcelain works.

One of them, This is my country I, is currently on show in a small presentation of his work in Livingstone Gallery.

Chinese mountains, Dutch landscape, porcelain, paint and the seasons are combined in one big, fragmented installation.

The idea of wandering in the World comes back in his reminiscences of Caspar David Friedrich’s (1774-1840) paintings.

At the moment Rees also has an exhibition in Museum Beelden aan Zee.

However, to be able to relate intimately with Rees’ work this modest but not unassuming presentation at Livingstone shouldn’t be missed.

The works are still on show there this week.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Adriaan Rees and Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #102

Public sculpture, Lübeckstraat.

Neither the artist nor the year of creation are known.

Stylistically it was probably made in the 1960s for a school in the neighbourhood, which was replaced in 2014 by the present school.

The sculpture, in spite of its unknown maker, has been given a new, prominent place, giving a playful accent to the contemporary façade of the school.

It is also a reminder of an age when sculpture was used not just to decorate, but also to give (in this case) youngsters and their teachers the idea of living in modern times with promising and imaginative perspectives.

As such it has become a monument maybe much needed in our days despite its anonymity, and it is fortunate that it has been honoured with a new place next to the new school.

Please contact me if you know with certainty who the artist is and when the work was originally placed.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Raquel Maulwurf, Night Fall; Livingstone Gallery, The Hague

Carbon is our friend and foe.

It is the main substance of the material with which Raquel Maulwurf (1975) makes her drawings with which she gives the viewer an almost sublime experience.

The carbon in her charcoal and black chalk creates the darkness of the universe in which stars or whole galaxies light up, or the nocturnal rolling waves of a deep ocean without any signs of life.

However, she also shows the material itself which is being burned to give us heat and light.

Carbon as it is mined as coal, has taken thousands or even millions of years to be formed, while we may change it into smoke and ashes in less than a day, and polluting our environment when doing so.

Also charcoal, Maulwurf’s main material, is the result of burning wood, destruction by fire.

This dualistic quality is also in her present show at Livingstone Gallery where she shows installations and both monumental and smaller drawings in an impressive ensemble.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Raquel Maulwurf and Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen, The limits of borderlines marginality margins and peripheries; PARTS Project, The Hague

It’s not the poet’s sweat, his breath or the perils of his life that make poetry.

It’s words.

The same accounts for a visual artist: it’s the materials that make art.

If only artists who think their work is the search for an individual style, would realise their quest is nonsense: it’s the material that dictates a style.

It’s all these things you have for free in life on this planet: objects, materials, space, colour, light, sound and the human brains.

It’s a communication between these that gives the artist the opportunity to make art, and that makes you experience art as a viewer.

These materials become spiritual by themselves if you understand them.

This understanding may be factual or scientific, but the understanding is also the way they behave and communicate with the viewer and with each other.

Of course their communication doesn’t exist of words, it’s not poetry; visual art is definitely not poetry.

It’s a communication that will only reveal itself if you just look, at the details and at the whole.

Further on, art happens, which means time plays a role as well.

It is on a certain moment that you enter a gallery to take a look at what is on show, and it is during a limited period in time that this show is taking place.

In fact you probably enter somewhere in the middle of the story, while the exhibition itself is part of a bigger ongoing story.

You break into the story somewhere in the middle of everything, even of your own life, as you don’t know what will happen next.

You discover things, hear sounds; things and sounds that already had their lives before you experienced them.

In winter, at this latitude, it is already dark when the gallery closes late in the afternoon, and artificial light becomes more important to see the objects on show.

They seem to prepare for some private time of their own, as you as a viewer may be doing as well.

Peering into the windows of the gallery at night time, you will only see some contours and vague shapes: the exhibition and its objects have temporarily stopped their communication.

You may experience that all and other things when visiting the present exhibition of Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen (1954) at PARTS project in this season of death and renewal.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen and PARTS Project, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Alejandra Venegas, Timicho; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Dürst Britt & Mayhew surprises with the works of a Mexican artist, Alejandra Venegas (1986) in their front space.

At first sight her works may look colourful and exotic, especially during the grey Dutch winter.

However, taking a closer look, a number of different cultures seem to converge to create a personal world of landscape-like compositions.

The best amongst them have a dreamlike quality in which the curving hills and the meandering streams try to find an inner harmony in deeply saturated colours and flowing shapes.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Alejandra Venegas and Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Façades of The Hague #101

Building with two gables, Laan van Meerdervoort corner Van Swietenstraat.

The building is part of a block of houses built in 1900 in an eclectic style, with a strong symmetry and double gables on the left and right corners.

Present owners are doing everything to show their contempt for that symmetry and to make the ground floors look as uninteresting as possible.

© Villa Next Door 2020

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Sybren Renema, Verweile doch! Du bist so schön!; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Some time ago i visited Dürst Britt & Mayhew to write a review about Sybren Renema’s (1988) present exhibition for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

As i have written quite extensively about the show in VLR i leave you here with some impressions without comments, and with the strong recommendation to go and see it all for yourself.

Click here to read the review in Villa La Repubblica.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Sybren Renema and Dürst Britt & Mayhew gallery, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!